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Gladiators of Rome By Bartek Sliwa Gladiators were trained warriors who fought each other to the death to entertain the Roman people. Most of these matches took place at a large Amphitheater called the Colosseum. The majority of them were slaves who were sold to gladiator schools where they were trained to become gladiators. There they were put in different classes that determined what type of a gladiator they would be. Even tough many of them became rich by winning fights most died in the following matches and never enjoyed their new fame and fortune. Colosseum Emperor Titus wanted to create more entertainment for the people of Rome by providing more Amphitheaters and other public facilities. A huge Amphitheater was built in the center of Rome called the Colosseum. It was 50 meters high, 86 meters long and 54meters long. It took over ten years to construct and could house almost 50,000 spectators. Most of it is still standing today. Many other amphitheaters were set up all over the empire but none of them even compare to the Colosseum. It was opened on 80 A.D. with emperor Titus there to begin the first games, which lasted 100 days. Most emperors enjoyed gladiator matches and often attended them at the Colosseum. They would be the President of the games and sometimes be the final say in weather the loser is to be executed. A huge feast was held for the gladiators. For many it was their last meal. The day would usually begin with fights between animals or other activities. But the biggest attraction at the Colosseum was the gladiator contests, where hundreds of men would die every day for the amusement of the audience. Rome was a very violent society and Gladiators became renowned through out the empire. Gladiator School The Gladiators schools were well equipped with trainers, doctors and training equipment to keep the men fit. Most of them enjoyed their life at the school and as a gladiator much better then when they were free, Because they were kept comfortable, well fed and cloth and were able to leave the school sometimes. Gladiators were placed under the control of their trainers. They were all skilled warriors who spent most of their time with their trainer getting ready for their next fight, which could very well be their last. The trainers were often former gladiators them selves and passed the knowledge of their experience down to their students. They were first taught the main fighting skills and then the particular class of fighting which they were the best at. Also they were taught navel warfare for when the Colosseum was flooded with water and boats were brought in. Types of Gladiators Not all gladiators had the same weapons and armor. There were different classes of gladiators based on size, strength and skill, which determined his weaponry. The large, strong men were usually trained to become Murmillo or Sammnite gladiators. The Murmillo was heavily armored, carried a rectangular shield and a short sword. The Sammnite class was very similar except that he carried a much larger shield. Then there was the Retiarrii and Thracian gladiators who were usually smaller and lightly armed. The Retiarrii had a net, trident and dagger, while the Thracian was armed with a small round shield and a curved razor-sharp dagger. Most matches were between fighters of different classes to add variety to the fight. Such as a Sammnite would fight a Retiarrii, where the more lightly armed Retiarrii would have more speed and agility. The heavily armed Sammnite would be slower but more protected by his armor. There four the Sammnite was better equipped for defense and the Retiarrii for attack. All of the classes had advantages and disadvantages to their style but overall they were equal. Life of a Gladiator Most gladiators were usually Slaves, criminals or prisoners of war who had little choice in weather or not they wanted to be a gladiator. But some of them were wealthy citizens of the Roman Empire who volunteered to become a gladiator to gain fame. Very few of them lived to fight more than two or three matches. When a gladiator won a match the emperor would reward him with prizes of gold and silver. A poor slave gladiator could suddenly become rich. If he won five fights in a row, he won wooden sword called a "Rudis" which made him a free man. But many of them didn't leave with their money because of the trill of winning and the thought of more gold and silver made them want to fight again. As a gladiator survived more fights he became more and more famous, much like famous athletes are today. The gladiators really enjoy the fame and most decided to stay and risk their live to maintain it. Most of them didn't live long enough to enjoy their new fortune. Some men did chose freedom and to enjoy their for

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